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Ireland signs Earth Observation agreement with the European Space Agency

The agreement will provide Ireland with unprecedented access to near-real time earth observation information for environmental monitoring and civil security

Today, at the launch event of the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite in the European Space Agency’s (ESA) European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), Noordwijk, The Netherlands, Enterprise Ireland signed a Technical Collaborative Arrangement with the ESA. This Arrangement will provide the state with unprecedented access to the Copernicus Programme’s near-real time earth observation information. The data will be stored locally for research, commercial development and policy informing purposes. Enterprise Ireland co-ordinates Ireland’s industrial and research participation in ESA programmes on behalf of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, Mr. John Halligan T.D., marked this important day for Ireland, attending the launch of the Sentinel-5P satellite in ESTEC, one of several satellites supporting the Copernicus earth observation programme. Speaking about the Arrangement, Minister Halligan stated that “this agreement will greatly support Ireland’s National strategy to maximise the value created from our investment in space related technologies. Furthermore, the agreement will act as an important resource as Ireland continues to develop world class skills in data analytics”.

Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland, also welcomed the Arrangement, stating that “The signing of this agreement is a key contributor to maintaining Ireland’s competitiveness, which is vital post-Brexit. Access to this near-real time data will help to drive research, and support the development of commercial applications and internationally traded services, and additionally, inform national policy. Furthermore, the need for earth observation is becoming crucial and it is creating opportunities for Irish companies in the context of the need for public authorities to make more informed decisions in environment, security and climate change. The signing of this Technical Collaborative Arrangement with the ESA is welcomed by Enterprise Ireland."

The Copernicus Earth Observation Programme provides services in six sectors, including marine monitoring, atmosphere monitoring, climate change monitoring, land monitoring, emergency management and security. Near-real time data accessed through the Technical Collaborative Arrangement will be applicable to urban planning, sustainable agriculture, bio-diversity, forest management, risk management, tourism, mitigation of the effects of climate change, security, coastal monitoring and infrastructure management. Aside from commercial and policy informing purposes, it is also envisioned that access to complex earth observation data will develop high performance computing, and information and communications technology, skill sets in Ireland.


For more information please contact: Press Office, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation Tel: +353 1 631 2200 or 

Notes to the Editor

The European Space Agency is an international organisation, comprised of 22 Member States. The ESA works to coordinate the financial and intellectual resources of its Member States in order to undertake programmes and activities beyond the capabilities of any single European country. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

For more information on the ESA, visit:

The Copernicus programme is coordinated and managed by the European Commission. The development of the observation infrastructure is performed under the aegis of the European Space Agency for the space component and of the European Environment Agency and the Member States for the in situ component. Copernicus has been specifically designed to meet user requirements. Through satellite and in situ observations, the services deliver near-real-time data on a global level which can also be used for local and regional needs, to help better understand the planet and sustainably manage the environment.

For more information on Copernicus, visit: